A food forest is a collection of plants, trees, and fungi meant to provide low input food resources for humans and/or animals.
To me a food forest should be open to all, provide food, and should focus on low-maintenance plants and fungi. The intention is for the forest to aid in the food sovereignty of a community, giving people a way to feed themselves.
I first learned about food forests on twitter, from the thread below:
Then I looked up my area to see if there was a food forest in my area and that’s how I found the Clifton Park Food Forest. You can see a highlight of our explorations in the food forest at the link below:
THREAD: HOW TO GROW A COMMUNITY FOOD FOREST— Plant trees – destroy lawns – decommodify food (@FoodForestNetwk) March 13, 2020
We’ll go through the steps of figuring out what to grow, choosing a strategy and a model for transforming your community by creating a lasting food resource and developing and sharing the skill of growing food. 1/19
I’ve eaten very well from the food forest. Last fall, on my first visit, I foraged Chicken-of-the-Woods mushrooms and used them in an amazingly tasty bibimbap. More recently I harvested woodear mushrooms and used them in an omelette. Some of our community members are collecting garlic-mustard and stinging nettles at this time of year for cooking greens, making pesto, putting on pizza, or drying for tea. I can’t wait for the fruits of the summer: peaches, pears, apples, serviceberries, pawpaws, wine berries.
I’m excited to see what the food forest teaches me this year about eating seasonally, and what i might be inspired to add to the ecosystem.